Today I’m expressing my right to be basic. One of the most common issues I come across when I’m teaching guys about style is their lack of knowledge on where to start. It’s daunting because they feel like there’s so much they need to know in order to look their best. I always try my best to get the idea across that style doesn’t need to be complex. It’s more about expressing your attitude and feeling your best.
I partnered with one of my favorite new brands (well, new to me) Basic Rights. They’re attention to detail and craft in the creation of their pieces is evident from the moment you touch and wear them. They’re not flashy, but the quality and design will last a lifetime.
I want to show you guys that looking good is easy if you have the right combination of pieces, so I styled two looks that are super versatile and easily worn (although I put some extra stank on them, because you know I’ve gotta). Let’s discuss!
High Waisted Chinos
High waisted pants are actually making a big comeback for guys. Right now, they’re in the same zone where skinny jeans were about 10 years ago. A lot of people think they look crazy, but they’ll be wearing them regularly in a year or two. This pair, from Basic Rights, are now one of my favorite pairs of pants. They also have non-high waisted chinos too if you’re not quite ready to go this high.
Tip: A great pair of slim fitting non jeans is essential, though. Find some you enjoy and start styling them in place of denim.
Luxe Basic Tee
You’ve gotta stop only buying your white tees in packs. There are so many brands and designers creating unique designs and using interesting fabrics, you’re genuinely missing out. This one is a bit heavier weight than an undershirt and breaks in like a dream! It’s a bit stiff right away, but the more you wear it, the more comfortable it becomes.
Tip: Basic tees, and not just white, are something you should spend a bit of money on so they last and wear in perfectly. Spending a bit of extra money initially will keep the piece from shrinking and getting ruined.
So far you have a pair of chinos and a basic tee, now you have to consider the rest of your outfit. I notice that during summer, a lot of guys completely omit boots from their outfits. I think they’re a fun thing to include when you’re trying to look a little bit rugged. As opposed to sneakers or dress shoes, they’re not something that will cause you to overheat, so don’t leave them out.
Tip: If you are feeling too basic in just a t-shirt and chinos, try tucking in your shirt. It works nicely for this look to show off the high-waisted pants, but ultimately it’s just a nice move to clean up a look or add one more element to an otherwise extremely basic outfit.
I’ve written about collarless shirts before, but I’ll continue to do so because I love them. This one from Basic Rights is totally classic and comfortable. It only buttons halfway down the front, so it ends up being more of a tunic than a classic oxford shirt.
Tip: A crisp white oxford style shirt is another absolute essential for every stylish guy’s closet. If you prefer something similar but equally classic, this collarless option works great.
Straight Leg Chinos
If you’re not a skinny pants person, that’s quite alright. There are lots of other options out there for you. As stated earlier, chinos are a great alternative to jeans. This olive green pair work great with the casual shirt for a basic look that’s suitable for casual Friday at the office and will keep you looking nice at Happy Hour after work.
Tip: If you’re a dude with an athletic build, straight leg pants will end up fitting you similarly to a slim jean would fit a skinnier guy. Don’t feel like you need skinny jeans just because that’s what a lot of other guys opt for.
Again, not all of these moves are for everyone. When I’m dressed in predominantly all basic pieces, I like to add a bit of flavor to spice things up. That’s why I chose my new checkerboard Vans with high white socks. I knew the pants hit me right above the ankle, so rather than go with no show socks and show off the ankle, I thought the continued white sock look worked nicely.
Tip: If you want to stay a bit more traditional, opt for some dress socks and a boot or dress shoe. Something that’s comfortably worn in because it will look odd if you have a casual outfit like this on with some really nice dress shoes.
If you’re in the market for elevated basic pieces that will last as long as you need and only get more comfortable with age, be sure to check out Basic Rights!